Replacing rotten wood

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Old 05-22-08, 01:23 AM
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Replacing rotten wood

I am about to have my house painted and there is a significant amount of rotten wood that needs replacing. The rotten wood, as well as the wood on the entire house is pressure treated or as the painters call it, "green wood." I've had to paint my house about every 5-6 years and each time there is a significant amount of rotten wood, and frankly, I'm getting tired of the extra cost involved in replacing the rotten wood prior to painting.

Furthermore, I've not been happy with how the pressure treated wood holds paint. It consistently peels in places. I know some will blame this on the paint used and others will blame it on the painter, but we've used different paints and different painters each time, with the results remaining pretty much the same. In fact, the house next door has cedar trim, and one year, we used the same painter and paint as the neighbor. Their paint job held up much better than ours, and I can only surmise that the wood was a major factor.

My question is: Is it OK to replace only the rotten pressure treated wood with cedar or some other material? I've talked to a couple of painters about using cedar, and one steered me away from cedar, saying that pressure treated wood held paint much better than cedar. The other painter just looked at me kinda funny and said that if I wanted cedar, I should replace all the wood with cedar, otherwise, I should just replace the rotten wood with pressure treated.

Other than the texture of the wood (all of which will be covered by paint and some of which will be covered by gutters), I don't see a problem with mixing the woods, but I'm certainly not an expert. What say the experts?

As an alternative to cedar, I thought about Hardi Plank. In general, I'm looking for something that will not rot so quickly and will hold paint better than what's been used previously on my house. Because cost is a factor, I don't want to replace all the wood on my house. Any advice anyone can give me on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 04:11 AM
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Fresh PT wood never paints well!! It needs to dry out and weather some before it will hold paint. Often the better wet PT is painted, the quicker the paint will fail.

I'm not sure I understand why/where PT is used on your exterior. Generally PT has limitted uses on an exterior [other than a deck] Am I to understand that the PT wood is deteriating? You need to determine the cause of the rotten wood and correct it first!

Generally cedar will paint well. The main issue with cedar is tannin bleed which a good oil primer will normally take care of....... but if the PT rots, I woouldn't expect cedar to fair any better. You need to find and address the cause of the rotting wood.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 04:13 AM
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I am assuming you are talking about trim wood. If so, check into Miratek. It is quite stable, has a grain similar to cedar, comes already primed. I don't feel comfortable with them using pressure treated lumber as trim boards. It takes a while for PT to accept paint, and if it is painted too early, it will, as you found out, peel the paint right off. Miratek comes in a 5/4 size and a 4/4 size, which, in reality means 3/4" and 1" thick in 4 & 6" widths in 16' lengths.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 06:14 AM
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I agree with others that you need to figure out the source of the moisture problems first. Sometimes it involves getting suited up during a rain storm and actually watching how water flows on your building.

It is my experience that you need to let PT lumber "age" for at least 6 months before trying to paint. Then you need to prime it with an old based primer. Preferably one that will accept a latex overcoat. However, I also agree that using PT for trim would not be my first choice.

If you use wood, try painting the boards before you install them. That way all 4 sides will be sealed. Once installed, you can caulk, fill nail holes, and apply a finish coat as necessary. Also, don't forget to paint the end cuts and leave a space between the bottom of the board and the ground or concrete to prevent wicking up moisture. This wicking is the cause of many trim problems with rot around door and window brick moldingl and garage door trim.

There are multiple companies that produce expanded PVC trim boards. As they are not made out of wood, these will never rot and except paint well.
 
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Old 05-23-08, 12:02 AM
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Yes, the rotten wood on my home is trim. I understand that trim near the ground is subject to moisture wicking from the ground surface, but the rotten wood that is really annoying me is fascia (sp?) board, generally found behind my gutters. I also have a couple of spots (on the roof line) where animals (likely squirrels) are scratching and chewing on the trim boards, but that is not a moisture issue.

Being that more than one of the respondents have mentioned that PT wood needs to dry a significant amount of time before painting, I think that is most likely the source of the problem. I know one of the painters I spoke to would be buying his PT wood at Home Depot, because he said that HD doesn't sell cedar for my trim, so he'd have to make a special trip to a lumber yard. And, I know that the PT wood at HD and/or Lowes is pretty wet in the store. I'm sure they (Painters) just go buy it in the morning, slap it on in the afternoon, and then paint it the next day. One painter made a point to say that they prime the PT wood, but I would assume that if wet, even the primer would peel. Is that a correct assumption?

Also, I don't know if this has any meaning, but when the paint peels, it peels off in big pieces, as if it didn't adhere at all over a large section.

Chandler, is Miratek from this website? How is Miratek different from Hardi Plank? And, now that I'm learning a little bit more, is Hardi Plank not an appropriate material for trim application?

Thanks again for all of your advice.
 
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Old 05-23-08, 03:39 AM
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Miratek is one product, there are also Azek, Plasticlad, Koma Trim boards that are an expanded PVC. I'm sure you have seen the "Never Rot" products at the box stores. They are a plastic instead of a wood based product. Hardie Boards and trim are cement based products so there in lies the difference. Plastic based products expand and contract more than cement based ones. Either one will not rot.

As far as you squirrel damage, that has nothing to do with your original post, except for the fact that the animals chewing on the wood have exposed the wood to the elements which in turn could cause rot. If you used PT lumber to seal these areas, and then had the paint issues that could be whats going on.

The squirrels are trying to get into the attic area, and probably have already succeeded. You need to clear the animals from the area if you want to have a successful repair. IMO they will chew through whatever you have there be it plastic, cement or wood based. I have a client who had squirrel problems, he had an exterminator come out and set traps to catch the attic residents. They then sealed the holes with tape and waited to see if the tape was broken over the next few days. If broken, then they knew more squirrels needed to be trapped. They continued until the tape remained intact. Then he proceeded with the repairs.
 
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Old 05-23-08, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rdkapp View Post
One painter made a point to say that they prime the PT wood, but I would assume that if wet, even the primer would peel. Is that a correct assumption?
Yes, as the PT dries it must expell the moisture. When it's painted too soon the moisture lifts the primer/paint. It isn't uncommon for the paint to peel in big sheets when the moisture under the paint tries to get out.

It sounds like your gutters aren't installed properly. Lack of a drip edge on the fascia can also contribute to moisture geting behind the gutter. If you can solve that problem, you likely won't have anymore issues........ except when critters remove the paint exposing raw wood
 
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Old 06-07-08, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by czizzi View Post
Miratek is one product, there are also Azek, Plasticlad, Koma Trim boards that are an expanded PVC. I'm sure you have seen the "Never Rot" products at the box stores. They are a plastic instead of a wood based product. Hardie Boards and trim are cement based products so there in lies the difference. Plastic based products expand and contract more than cement based ones. Either one will not rot.
Will both (plastic based and cement based) work equally well in the hot, humid climate of the Texas Gulf Coast? Or is there a preference for one over the other?

Originally Posted by marksr View Post
It sounds like your gutters aren't installed properly. Lack of a drip edge on the fascia can also contribute to moisture geting behind the gutter. If you can solve that problem, you likely won't have anymore issues........ except when critters remove the paint exposing raw wood
The gutters were probably installed properly initially, but over the years and after a couple of repair and paint jobs, they were not reinstalled properly. I acknowledge that they are in disrepair in places, and they will be removed and replaced after this repair and paint job.

Originally Posted by czizzi View Post
The squirrels are trying to get into the attic area, and probably have already succeeded. You need to clear the animals from the area if you want to have a successful repair. IMO they will chew through whatever you have there be it plastic, cement or wood based. I have a client who had squirrel problems, he had an exterminator come out and set traps to catch the attic residents. They then sealed the holes with tape and waited to see if the tape was broken over the next few days. If broken, then they knew more squirrels needed to be trapped. They continued until the tape remained intact. Then he proceeded with the repairs.
The squirrels have gotten into the attic, and it is a source of concern for me, both on the humane side as well as the cost side. I know they spend time in the attic during the winter months, because I hear them, but there's nary a sound when the weather is warmer. For obvious reasons, I don't want to close any of them up in the attic; however, the bid I've received from an exterminator is outrageous ($1,200 to trap and remove, plus seal up all entrances to the attic). I've hesitated spending that money, because I'm not sure how much time the squirrels spend in the attic during the summertime. I do think they go in and out of the attic, because I see them near the opening, but it's hot as hell up there, so I don't think they spend much time inside (but I could be wrong). I thought I could have the holes plugged up and the rotten wood replaced during the summer, and therefore avoid trapping any of them in the attic, while closing up their entrance for the upcoming colder weather. Any thoughts on this issue from anybody?
 
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Old 06-08-08, 06:39 AM
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I think a trip into the attic is in order. Squirrels love to chew on things, helps keep their teeth in good working order. I would also highly recommend that you inspect all the wiring up there as squirrels also love to chew on the insulation around the wires. This creates a major fire hazard. Which may change your mind about the "humane" concerns about your uninvited house guests.

I have seen live wires stripped clean of all insulation. One occasion, I saw a 2ft run of completely bare copper (3 wires set parallel to each other). I found them in the dark as I was working my way over to install wire mesh over a gable vent (to stop the squirrel access). I stepped over the HVAC ductwork and saw a flash around my feet. Shined the light down and the bare wires were there. There was also a dead squirrel carcuss next to it.

I double checked a couple of the company websites regarding expanded PVC trim and none said anything about not being able to be used in Texas The key is accounting for the boards expansion. If you install them on a hot day, then they are already expanded. If you install them on a cold day then each company recommends how much expansion to account for.
 
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Old 06-08-08, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rdkapp View Post
Yes, the rotten wood on my home is trim. I understand that trim near the ground is subject to moisture wicking from the ground surface, but the rotten wood that is really annoying me is fascia (sp?) board, generally found behind my gutters. I also have a couple of spots (on the roof line) where animals (likely squirrels) are scratching and chewing on the trim boards, but that is not a moisture issue.

Being that more than one of the respondents have mentioned that PT wood needs to dry a significant amount of time before painting, I think that is most likely the source of the problem. I know one of the painters I spoke to would be buying his PT wood at Home Depot, because he said that HD doesn't sell cedar for my trim, so he'd have to make a special trip to a lumber yard. And, I know that the PT wood at HD and/or Lowes is pretty wet in the store. I'm sure they (Painters) just go buy it in the morning, slap it on in the afternoon, and then paint it the next day. One painter made a point to say that they prime the PT wood, but I would assume that if wet, even the primer would peel. Is that a correct assumption?

Also, I don't know if this has any meaning, but when the paint peels, it peels off in big pieces, as if it didn't adhere at all over a large section.

Chandler, is Miratek from this website? How is Miratek different from Hardi Plank? And, now that I'm learning a little bit more, is Hardi Plank not an appropriate material for trim application?

Thanks again for all of your advice.
never have seen anyone use PT for fascia!! "back in the day" all we used was redwood. too expensive and hard to get now. have used western cedar. still expensive. have used a lot of spruce and pine. primed all sides prior to installing. boring bees like unprimed wood. i also like to paint first and then touch up if necessary.. not too familiar with newer materials as i have retired, but i like them when i can use them.
 
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Old 06-08-08, 05:53 PM
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Mike, was in Denver a few months ago to visit Daughter (really grandkids), but went in a HD and they had 2 x 8 x 16 clear redwood. I drooled alot. Transportation costs would make it horribly expensive here in the South.
 
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Old 06-09-08, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Mike, was in Denver a few months ago to visit Daughter (really grandkids), but went in a HD and they had 2 x 8 x 16 clear redwood. I drooled alot. Transportation costs would make it horribly expensive here in the South.
and what was the price? one arm and a foot? i can't even imagine!
 
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